There are certain things in life that just always belong together. Peanut butter and jam. Laurel and Hardy. Darryn’s face and an assortment of pastries. And in the DC Comics universe, there are very few pairings that work as well as Blue Beetle and Booster Gold.
The superhero duo have been around the DCU for years and have always maintained a huge sense of silly fun together. You know, “silly fun”? That thing that seems to be sorely missing from Warner Bros’ currently sombre slate of DC Comics movies? Well, maybe no longer as Tracking Board is reporting that the studio has added a Blue Beetle/Booster Gold movie to their lineup and have tapped The Flash and Arrow showrunner Greg Berlanti to direct.
It has to be noted that Berlanti only has two feature film directing credits to his name, the romantic comedies Life as We Know It – which was an outright stinker – and The Broken Hearts Club – which Berlanti also penned and which fared much better critically. Past filmography aside, if he can manage to bring the same levels of heart and fun to this as he does to The Flash then this could work really well, especially as the pitch is described as a “superhero buddy cop movie” with a huge emphasis being placed on the comedy aspects. That’s something we haven’t really seen before and could just be the breath of fresh air we need in the superhero movie genre.
While this is technically still in rumour territory as WB has yet to announce anything officially, Heroic Hollywood is also backing up this story and even add that Zak Penn has been tapped to write the script the script. Penn is of course the guy who wrote X-Men: The Last Stand and The Incredible Hulk, and while the latter certainly has some merit, the former nearly single handedly wiped out a franchise. So yeah, I am a bit concerned there.
There’s also the question of which direction the story will take. In the comics, Booster Gold aka Michael Jon Carter is a disgraced football star turned janitor from the 25th century, who stole some superpowered equipment – including a time machine – from the museum where he works, and traveled back to the 20th century to get rich off the superhero craze. He’s a snarky, showboating braggart who is not above things like getting a corporate sponsor to make money off of being a “hero”, but it’s that exact slightly douchey nature that has made him a fan favourite.
Blue Beetle has a much less straight forward origin though. Originally created in the 1930’s, the character was originally a rookie cop named Dan Garret who started out as just a normal costumed vigilante but also had some superpowers of his own for a while. The Blue Beetle comics were originally published in 1939 by the defunct Fox Comics, but the rights changed hands to several different comic book publishers over the years, with DC Comics eventually gaining them. And with every new owner, the character was tweaked as well, at one stage being an archaeologist who gained powers from a mystical Egyptian scarab amulet.
Eventually though, he became Ted Kord, Garret’s now grown-up genius inventor sidekick who used his gadgets and Blue Beetle suit to fight crime. Kord was a wise-cracking joker who used his humour to hide his insecurities – especially about the fact that he was often depicted as being a bit pudgy compared to his musclebound superhero peers. He would eventually join the third-string Justice League spinoff, Justice League International, where he paired up with Booster Gold, kicking off years’ worth of hilarious and zany adventures together.
Kord became a much beloved character, easily the most popular incarnation of Blue Beetle, so of course he was brutally killed off in the Countdown to Infinite Crisis comic book after he discovered that former Justice League financial backer Maxwell Lord had created a secret organization to control all metahumans.
The Post-Infinite Crisis DCU would see a new character take up the Blue Beetle mantle in Jaime Reyes, a Hispanic teenager from Texas. Jaime finds Dan Garret’s previously mentioned mystical scarab, but discovers that it was never Egyptian but rather extraterrestrial in origin, after it bonds to his spine and creates a highly advanced armor around him. It’s eventually revealed to be the vanguard of an invading alien race known as the Reach, meant to create a compliant warrior to establish an invasion foothold, but since the scarab’s AI was partially damaged it left Jaime in control of its actions.
This version of Blue Beetle kept the fun tone of Kord’s days, but added a family element to it, as Jaime’s big family and community all knew who he was and often got involved in his adventures. All of which also made him a bit of a fan-favorite. So which Blue Beetle would be in the movie?
While Ted Kord was certainly the most popular Blue Beetle ever, there’s no denying that having a Hispanic teenage hero lead a feature film would certainly be a huge diversity draw for the studio. I think Devin Faraci over at BMD has actually come up with the best solution to this dilemma though: Make Ted Kord a Hispanic man and have Michael Pena play him! I will take it even further and also suggest casting Nathan Fillion at his smarmy best as Booster Gold. Now that’s a “Blue and Gold” movie I would watch!
Last Updated: September 21, 2015